Greetings from Appalachia

It’s not quite 10pm, but I’ve been awake for 17 hours and in 4 different states. I can see horses and cows out the window and there’s not a Starbucks within 50 miles. It’s been an interesting day.

My morning started with a 4:55am wake-up (whee!). I needed to leave for the airport by 6:15am, so if a morning run was going to happen, it needed to happen early. I ran a relaxed 3-miler in Central Park and was amazed at the amount of people up and exercising at that hour. If I didn’t have an a.m. flight, I would have run at least 2 hours later. An early morning riser, I am not!

After my run and a few flights, my Dad met me in Blountsville, TN. From there we drove an hour or so to his home in South West Virginia. I’m visiting through Sunday and running a 5.5k trail race on Saturday (any local readers??)

The area is beautiful, green, and very hilly. Quite the change from my apartment in Harlem!

I was pretty hungry by the time I arrived at my Dad’s house and his wife Pam had some really yummy treats waiting for me –

Spinach and Mushroom Quiche (Julia Child’s recipe!)

And homemade cream cheese brownies 🙂

Later in the evening, we headed out to a local event at the Railroad Museum in St. Paul. The reception featured local wine tastings and tables full of homemade party food.

I filled my plate with a little bit of everything and definitely went back for seconds of the cherry-topped cheesecake. A Nilla wafer was placed at the bottom of a cupcake wrapper and then topped with cream cheese filling, and a cherry and a stroop wafel. I want to re-create this at home!

We listened to the Appalachia Community orchestra while we mingled. It was a fun evening!

The plan for tomorrow is to preview the trail where the race will be run (Dad thinks I have a shot at winning…it’s a small field). The race is going to be held at 6pm on Saturday…and it’s going to be a hot one. Here’s hoping I don’t melt in the heat!

Have you ever run a race in the afternoon or evening? I’m a little worried about the heat and how my stomach will react to a post-lunch race.

  • oh, country life. looks like you’re making the most of it, going to local events and whatnot 🙂 love the local wine tasting thing. it makes me feel homey and countryish and stuff. good luck tomorrow with your race! back in my college track days (thank god that’s over! ha!) i stuck to simple cereal, fruit and milk for breakfast and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch, and maybe some more carbage or fruit, but not much more. simple foods = happy tummy for me!

  • The only evening race I’ve ever done was the 2008 Nike Human Race 10K on Randall’s Island in New York. I wasn’t a fan, because it was also hot out, and because it was pretty disorganized. They have a PM 10K here in Houston called the “Chupacabra 10K,” but it’s a trail run! The flashlight requirement alone makes me nervous haha.

  • Katie

    I’m originally from Charleston, WV. You may be a little farther south than that. I still get a little defensive when I hear “West Virginia jokes”- thanks for posting about such a nice, cultured-looking event! 😉

  • Good luck with the race!! 🙂

  • I love that part of the country.  So beautiful and so peaceful.  Looks like you are getting great food and great weather!  Enjoy your trip.  It’s funny….  this Saturday I’m running my first evening race {5 Miler} and I’m SO nervous bc I have no idea how to prep.  I have my morning routine down.  But the evening is going to be hot and not sure what to eat, etc.  Best Wishes to you in your event!!!

  • I was up then too and totally would have met you for that run!! Gah, I’m such a morning person. It looks so pretty there – glad you’re having run with pops, friend! I’ve never run a race in the evening – totally foreign territory to me. Maybe just eat for lunch what you usually eat for breakfast before a race? And hydrate? I’m sure you’ll do well and kick some booty (and win!) 🙂 

  • Anonymous

    omg the 2008 Nike Human Race…it was so hot, dusty, and crowded!!! i
    remember getting bottle necked at the 6 mile mark and had to come to a
    complete stop. yuck.

  • Wow…I’m proud of myself waking up at 6:30 today to run! I’m not a morning runner at all! I’m from south of there – Knoxville, TN, but it has a similar landscape. Beautiful, but starting to get hot and humid down there!!! Enjoy and hoping to hear about a win!

  • Oh wow, that is beautiful. I tend to shit on Virginia a lot just because I’m a cranky New Englander who thinks no one in the state knows how to drive, but that is some serious beauty right there. BRB booking vacation to SW Virginia…

  • oooh that looks great! what is on the bread with the cucumbers? Is that dill?

  • Kristan

    It is gorgeous there! I love the view of the mountains. Have fun with your dad this weekend and good luck in the race!

  • Looks lovely – must be nice to get away from the city! The wine tastings & food look right up my alley. Good luck with the race on Saturday – I haven’t done an afternoon/evening race in awhile, I guess just try to keep the meals light? Looking forward to hearing how it goes!! I bet by 6pm it will have cooled down a bit. And since its on a trail (which is awesome) hopefully it will be shaded. I’m also racing this weekend so we’ll have to compare notes next week!

  • Yay, nature! Hope you’re having QT family time. Doesn’t look THAT backwoodsy if they have dill sandwiches and bread bowls. 

    Indeed, I have run races in the afternoon/evening. The trick, sadly, is to go in with a nearly-empty stomach (at least for me). I wouldn’t eat anything substantial after noon.

  • Appalchia looks beautiful!! Have lots of fun with an out-of-state race — so much fun!

  • Ha, you were there?! The worst was getting bottlenecked on the foot bridge, with so many people on it that it swayed from side to side! Ugh. I think they’ve since moved the race to Prospect Park haha.

  • Anonymous

    Yup, fresh dill!

  • Anonymous

    I previewed the course today – strong chance I might die. Should have run more hill workouts…

  • Vigibson

    Yay! Glad you made it! I wish I was running it so I could meet you. I’m coming home and St.Paul is not far at all from me. I laughed when I read you commenting on the hills. We live in the Mtns. Girly! Does your dad work on the railroad? I wonder if he knows my family since everybody knows everybody there. ! You will do great in the race regardless. Don’t forget to check out Kyles Ford if u want to have a little fun. Good Luck!!

  • Holy small world Batman! Colin grew up in a tiny town SO close to St Paul!

  • Anonymous

    What’s the name of the town?? My Dad lives in Lebanon!

  • You ran before your early morning flight? Awesome dedication… 🙂

    I’ve contemplated a few evening races. The only thing that makes me nervous is the humidity… I feel like summer evenings get hot and sticky REAL quick.  But maybe that’s just my imagination… 🙂

  • emmygorton

    Such gorgeous pictures! It’s always nice to get away and enjoy some fresh air!

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